Who doesn’t like to receive a well chosen greeting card to help you celebrate a wonderful occasion, like a birthday or anniversary, or one that helps you get through an especially rough time in your life?
Greeting cards are meaningful among Christians when they contain a verse of Scripture that expresses hope and encouragement. We can all agree that these cards are sweet and kind expressions, and we appreciate every kind thought.
However, could it be that we are sometimes guilty of living a “greeting card” mentality while neglecting the most important aspect of the verses we use in our greeting cards?
For example, we often use a familiar verse in Romans 8:28 as a challenge that we can do anything with Christ’s help. But we ignore the over all context of the passage that admonishes us to pray without ceasing, and to pray being led by the Holy Spirit. It’s not about us achieving a personal goal with God’s help, but about developing an attitude of prayer and following God’s will.
I recently read a “Our Daily Bread” devotional that told the story of a man’s wife who had bought a birthday card for a friend. The card had a scripture from Deuteronomy 28:63 that read, ”The lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply”. She was so fascinated with the beauty of that statement that she wanted to look up the scripture and read the rest of the passage. When she read the whole verse it painted a different picture when read in it’s context. The whole verse read, “Just as the lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy.”
The proper context of the whole passage is not about God’s favor and blessing, but about His judgement because Israel had turned their back on Him. Yes, God takes pleasure in blessing His people, but He also warns us that we are destined for greatness and blessing only when we are serving Him with all of our heart.
To walk with the Lord means we are intentional and radical about our faith. Being intentional is to have forethought. For me, that means I must have a time each day that I focus on my need for His daily guidance. I acknowledge that “Apart from Christ I can do nothing.” Some would call this daily devotions, I prefer to call it my God focus time. This helps me recognize and acknowledge a daily need for Him.
Being radical is simply being fully surrendered and abandoned to the will of God. It’s a reminder that there is nothing more important than being right with God and walking in daily fellowship with Him.
How would you characterize your walk with God, “Greeting Card mentality” or “Intentional and Radical?”
“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” (Galatians 6:14 NLT)